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Editorials

Most Western New Yorkers lack the conviction that Kelly Cline showed in celebrating the state’s summer crackdown on distracted driving. Then again, most Western New Yorkers haven’t lost a child to that 21st century scourge of the roadways. Nevertheless, most drivers, we suspect, would echo the West Seneca woman’s reaction to news of the crackdown: “Isn’t is awesome?”The st…

The first thing to note about the effort to change foreclosure rules in the City of Buffalo is that those rules are desperately wrong. The notion that families can lose their homes for being delinquent on garbage user fees is something out of Charles Dickens.That’s the rule that Common Council Majority Leader Demone A. Smith wants to change. That kind of foreclosure happen…

Editorials

Maybe this will get the FAA moving. If the 50 lives lost in a commuter plane crash in Clarence weren’t enough to light a fire under the Federal Aviation Administration, perhaps the additional two lives lost in Saturday’s crash of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco will jolt it into action, fast-tracking the pilot training rules enacted after the 2009 crash of Flight 3407.Both c…

Editorials

Ronald Reagan said it best: Trust, but verify. He was referring to the former Soviet Union, but the axiom well applies to the statements of any public bureaucracy, in this case the Buffalo School District and its claims to have saved a million dollars.Superintendent Pamela C. Brown says the administrative changes she has made in the district’s central office have already s…

Editorials

One of the most preposterous expenses that Western New York taxpayers are forced to bear is the cosmetic surgery rider included in some public union contracts, including that of Buffalo teachers, where the cost has become particularly onerous.Facing elimination of nearly half the Buffalo School District’s band and orchestra programs, the School Board is targeting superfici…

It was probably around Easter time. War was eating its fill of lives and arms and legs and minds along the Western Front.Far from those horrific scenes and sounds, along a remote dirt road in southern Erie County, quiet repose settled at last on a tiny farm that sat in lonely isolation in the rural darkness. The day’s wash still hung hopefully on a line strung nearby – the…

Editorials

Misconceptions in the United States about Canada are quite common. They include: there is always snow in Canada; Canadians are boring, socialists and pacifists; their border is porous and allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists through; or, as the U.S. Ottawa embassy staff suggested to Washington, the country suffers from an inferiority complex. With Canada Day and America’s Indep…

Editorials

Rocco Termini No developer has done more for downtown Buffalo’s housing and hospitality than Rocco Termini. He wasn’t the first to convert an industrial building into housing, but he’s had the most success, with a half-dozen acclaimed loft-style conversions in recent years and more on the way. With the benefit of state-provided historic tax credits, Termini completed a $43…

Editorials

Could Erie County finally come around and realize that underfunding its tourism agency is costing millions of dollars in missed opportunities? We hope so.The county is exploring ways to increase and stabilize funding for Visit Buffalo Niagara. This effort could include a dedicated stream of revenue, according to what county officials recently told the Buffalo Place board …

The City of Lackawanna, where the mayor named his father-in-law, once found guilty of professional misconduct, as City Court judge, has just been knocked into second place in the nepotism derby. In a shameless display of its own, the Niagara Falls School District has hired the wives of two members of the School Board.The district had 19 applications for three secretarial j…

Editorials

The overthrow of Egypt’s elected government poses difficult questions for anyone who supports democratic rule. While the military coup is regrettable, there is a bottom line here: The democratically elected government of former President Mohammed Morsi was not functioning in a democratic fashion. That makes it hard to mourn his political demise.It was always going to be di…

It’s impossible to know if the rating given to Buffalo School Superintendent Pamela C. Brown is legitimate or not. The School Board that conducted the evaluation of her first year on the job messed it up so badly as to make its favorable rating all but meaningless.The board was a month late in completing the evaluation, and some members failed to explain why they gave low …

Editorials

Corruption in state government is endemic. Its roots go deep, and include the influence of Tammany Hall, the corrupt political machine that once dominated New York City.It has also been cosseted by legions of elected officials who, predictably enough, seem to like things just as they are. Only last month, the Legislature refused to adopt reforms pushed by Gov. Andrew M. Cu…

Editorials

Independence Day is, without doubt, the most important day in the calendar of our national life. It celebrates not the gaining of the nation’s liberty from England, but the date in 1776 when the colonists announced their brash intention to break free.It was as unlikely to be achieved as it was bold to state, but five years later, after suffering that can hardly be imagined…

The staggering loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona Sunday is yet another reminder of the dangers faced by our first responders.The Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, Ariz., were an elite, highly trained unit, but they were no match for the out-of-control wildfire near Yarnell. A sudden change in wind direction sent the flames racing toward the crew. They deployed emerge…